SATS General Botha* - (0 members)
The South African Training Ship General Botha was an actual SA Navy training ship commissioned on 15 March 1922 after it had been transferred from the British Admiralty, previously having been the British Royal Naval Second Class Cruiser, HMS Thames, to be used for the full-time training of boys of the Cape Town Naval Cadet Corps for careers at sea. The official christening of the ship as S.A.T.S. General Botha was performed on the 1st April 1922 by the wife of General J.C. Smuts, Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, on behalf of Mrs. Botha who was ill at the time. For the next 20 years the ship remained a familiar sight in Simon's Bay and steadily built up an enviable reputation for the caliber of seafarers who were produced. Altogether 1276 cadets received their training aboard during this time. On the 13th May 1947 she was towed into False Bay by the naval tug ST Dogmael and was sunk by gunfire from SCALA battery in a position 9 miles East-South-East of Roman Rock lighthouse after It was agreed by all concerned that she be disposed of. SATS Gerenal Botha became a ground-based unit based at Redhill, near Simons Town, where training continued ashore at the Red Hill camp until the end of April 1948, after which it was moved to the former SAAF crash boat station at Gordons Bay and the name of the establishment changed to The South African Nautical College General Botha. In 1966 it became part of the South African Merchant Navy Academy which was established at Granger Bay, until 1987, when the "Bothie" became a department of the Cape Technikon and ceased to exist as an independent entity. Altogether some 3000 cadets received their training in the ship and shore establishments, which so proudly bore the name "GENERAL BOTHA" from 1922 - 1987.
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